Thursday, October 28, 2004

Rosemary Clooney's home to be museum



The Associated Press

AUGUSTA - Former Miss America Heather French Henry and her husband plan to buy and renovate the former home of singer Rosemary Clooney.

The couple said they plan to live part time in the two-story brick home built in 1835 along the Ohio River and use it for a public museum. Henry and her husband, former Kentucky Lt. Gov. Steve Henry, said they will display memorabilia from Clooney's career as an internationally known pop singer.

The couple said they plan to purchase the home within the next two weeks. The Henrys currently live in Louisville with their two children - Harper Renee, 3, and Taylor Augusta, 15 months.

Heather French Henry grew up three blocks from Clooney's house before moving to Maysville. Henry said Clooney served as a mentor to her when she was Miss America 2000, and the two often talked about their hometowns.

"Augusta and Maysville were the only places where we could get away and breathe," Henry said. "I would like my children to get what I got from Augusta."

Clooney, a Maysville native and the aunt of actor George Clooney, was a singer and actress popular in the 1950s with No. 1 hits such as "Come On-a My House." She also is remembered for her appearance alongside Bing Crosby in the movie White Christmas.

Clooney was 17 when she and her sister Betty, then 14, got their start as singers at WLW-AM in Cincinnati. Rosemary Clooney enjoyed a resurgence of popularity late in life as a jazz singer. She was 74 when she died of lung cancer in 2002.

Clooney bought the Augusta house in 1980 and lived there when she wasn't on the road performing or at her main residence in Beverly Hills, Calif.

"I remember how happy Rosemary was here," said her brother Nick Clooney, a former journalist who is now the Democratic candidate for Congress from Kentucky's 4th District. "This was a place of joy for her, by this magnificent river that was always our North Star."

Steve Henry declined to disclose the price he and his wife will pay for the house. A four-year-old assessment of the house set its value at $71,400.

Steve Henry said only private money will be involved in the purchase and renovations. A foundation will be created to operate the house, he said, even after the Henrys no longer live in it.




ELECTION 2004
Election 2004 page
OHIO RACES:
Gay issue foes' names not listed
Butler Co. race 3-way hot
2 districts hope to hike income tax
Judge blocks GOP's voter challenges
Evendale seeks charter change
Fairfield teachers take freeze
Filmmaker Moore brings anti-GOP show to town
Northwest levy fight bitter
Region invests millions in race
Draft is 'sleeper issue'
Poll workers preparing for additional scrutiny
Go to polls, soldier pleads
Voters to decide fire chief's status
Kings tries Q&A to sway voters
KENTUCKY RACES:
Gloves off in last debate for Congress
Fletcher's way to restore voting rights criticized
Some stations to pull gay-amendment spot
Six council members defend Groob
Senate candidates appeal to the faithful

TOP STORIES
Panel urges giving leftover flu vaccine to health workers
Mom wants to adopt daughter she lost
Fire burns home; owner found dead

IN THE TRISTATE
County kicks in $900,000 toward Anderson connector
Fumes at Country Day sicken 11 first-graders
Lakota won't fight district
Local news briefs
Police talks under way
Public safety briefs
New community planning chief introduced
Two Mason feature writers are national semifinalists
Err on the side of openness, Ohio attorney general says
Two surgeons to train others to implant disc
Township seeks uniform zoning
Tax plan is a fraud, government says
Neighbors briefs

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Bronson: Guilty as sin? Rapist insists on DNA test
Good Things Happening

LIVES REMEMBERED
John H. Payne, 89, 'surgeon's surgeon'

KENTUCKY STORIES
Yahoo! Louisville a stop on Dew tour
Bridge work hurts shops
Kentucky news briefs
Rosemary Clooney's home to be museum
Gillespie to be honored with musical tribute
N. Ky. news briefs
Worker slams door on would-be robber
Exotic club fees delayed
Airport to join inquiry into worker's maiming
Swimmers in sync
Butlers give $1M to United Way